I feel like we're talking past each other, because the samurai duel is an example I made earlier, in another thread, of a similar situation where D&D's hit points don't match either reality or, more importantly, genre expectations. And, of course, the 3E version of Oriental Adventurers tried to work around this with its iaijutsu bonus damage, like sneak attack bonus damage, on a first strike off the draw.Two samurai are squaring off, neither has a chance to kill the other with that first strike.
So, again, the problem is not specific to guns; it's just worse for guns than for many other weapons. When you have a lethal one-shot weapon, like a dueling pistol or a Kentucky long rifle, and it can't kill another duelist or a deer (or a British officer), it's more jarring than if a kitchen knife can't kill someone on the first slash.
I'm pretty sure a huge monstrous spider could and would kill a first-level halfling rogue on its first successful bite. In fact, with a +9 attack bonus, it would likely hit, too.Bilbo is not worried about the spiders of Mirkwood - he knows that they can't kill him with a single chomp.
(In fact, if we want to open a whole 'nuther bottle of worms, the problem with playing Bilbo in D&D is that he's not high-level, but he has a lot of plot-protection, which is normally implemented in D&D via high hit points.)
Again, I think we've been talking past each other, because I have repeatedly made the point that early matchlock guns weren't much different from crossbows, and they could use the same stats, since armies of the time saw them as roughly equivalent.I love a blackpowder piece, but they were not much more effective than a crossbow - only faster.
D&D doesn't handle guns or crossbows "well" -- if you care about dueling, hunting, stopping a charge, etc. -- so the more important such missile weapons become, the weirder the game plays.
What is it about blackpowder weapons that you think I'm misunderstanding?Join a recreation society - there are plenty in the US. Try blackpowder weapons, shoot some targets, get a feel for them.